“We believe at a certain point, if we can retain enough of the talent that we’ve uncovered, we can build a community that makes Silicon Valley and New York less of a default.” This quote, and many others like it, seemed to be a theme in the conversations I had last night at the kick off party for the Hello Tomorrow conference I am speaking at here in Paris later today. I spoke with entrepreneurs and investors from here in France as well as those from Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, and Israel and they all seemed to have a similar sentiment. Each one of them, while aware of the attraction and pull of the larger tech hubs in Europe like London or Berlin, or ultimately San Francisco, believe that the geographical centralized nature of technology is on its way to the history books.
My good friend and partner in Exopshere, Skinner Layne, wrote a wonderful piece on this them earlier this week: Burst It – Not The Bubble You Think. “A hundred new entrepreneurship nodes would do far more good for the world than three new Silicon Valleys.” We are seeing this play its out at Exosphere in Chile and in the communities that our Bootcamp members return to.
The barrier to entry to build a web based company is so much lower now than it used to be. This is both good and bad. The bad being that there are a lot of really bad ideas that are seeing the light of day because they no longer need the approval of any outside source before they are launched. The good being that no one needs the approval of anyone else to begin working on the idea you believe is the next big thing. And the same goes with the communities of entrepreneurship and innovation that are popping up around the world.
Each of these communities is unique to its location and the resources that are already in place. Some are being informally incubated around a system of universities and others are being pushed forward by the alumni of a technology company long since relevant. Some are built on the backs of entrepreneurs that left and made a name for themselves in a bigger hub but have returned to bring their experience, and in some case, investment dollars, back to their home town.
There will never be another Silicon Valley, and that is a great thing. But there can be “Silicon-Everywhere” and that is an even better thing.Tweet
Sometimes when you believe in someone or something, you have to step back in order to see it mature the way it needs to. As BOND continues to grow, I’ve chosen to step down from my day to day role with the company and will be formally joining the advisory board to allow the team to remain lean and execute with ruthless focus on the immediate technical initiatives that lie ahead.
While moving on from something that I’ve been so fully invested in on an hourly basis for the past nine months will take some time to get used to, it is something that is a familiar road for a lot of founding team members in the world of young companies. I am confident the team will continue to build towards the original vision we began that undertaking with: Thoughtfulness At Scale.
With that said, I am extremely excited about the new company that I’m joining this month. There is a lot of new hustle ahead, but having worked with some of this team before, I am thrilled to be stepping in at such a pivotal time in the company’s history. Much more to come on that in the future.
But for now, I am letting the lessons learned in building BOND to this point reveal themselves as I percolate on all of the new experiences and exposure I’ve gained throughout this process. And as the dust of those ideas settle a little more, I’ll do my best to capture some of them here.Tweet
It is okay, you should say it, “I know there is more that I can be doing with this life.”
It is okay. We’ve all been there.
And you know what else is okay? Finding a place to ask the questions that come next and taking some time to explore all the possibilities for the adventure that awaits.
From asking the right questions, to thinking through the possibilities, to getting started on building the life and work that you’re thrilled to be working towards, Exosphere’s Spring Bootcamp might just be what the doctor ordered.
Starting in March and lasting for 12 weeks, this Bootcamp is a chance to take a step towards a much brighter future and much bigger story. We’ve had a couple of last minute spots open up and, if you identify at all with the questions above, maybe you should take a look at what we’re up to and apply to learn more.
If you have any questions, I’d love to help point you in the right direction. Just email me or leave a comment below.Tweet
This week alone, three different people have told me “the industry we’re trying to disrupt is the last frontier for innovation.” And then, after hearing more about their company, idea, and solution, I end up feeling bad for the reputation that it appears the word “innovation” has developed. Just because you replicated an offline process online doesn’t mean you innovated, it just means we’re evolving.
“Technology eating the world” is turning out to be really boring. There are incredibly smart and savvy entrepreneurs working on incredibly boring and, when considered in the context of the world as a whole, meaningless ideas.
They’re working on vitamins instead of pain killers.
They’re working on nice-to-haves that make things a little bit better.
They’re not working on the must-haves that changes the entire trajectory of a situation.
People will forget to take their vitamins. But, when suffering, people will always look for a way to kill that pain.Tweet